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Man Utd u-turn over memoriam notice for tragic fan

Manchester United has performed a u-turn by allowing the football club’s crest to be used in a memoriam for Carlisle-based fan Lee Ewings.

Lee Ewings photo
Lee Ewings

Two pals of Lee, who died aged 37 from a brain tumour a year ago, wanted to place a memoriam tribute in yesterday’s News & Star.

Officials at Old Trafford at first refused permission.

They said it was “not our policy” to allow the crest to appear in an advert.

The move outraged Lee’s friends, Robert McTaggart and Craig Dowell, and his dad David Ewings.

But within hours of a report appearing in the News & Star on Wednesday, the club changed its mind.

A letter from Andrea Murphy, United’s brand-protection manager, was hand delivered to Mr Ewings’ home in Dowbeck Road, Carlisle.

Dad David said: “I think she got a fright. She made out that the request hadn’t come through the right channels.

“I am glad it has been sorted out. It has taken us days to get over this.

“The last thing my son did before he died was watch Manchester United. That’s how much he loved them.”

Mr Ewings senior, a life-long United fan, had been so upset by the club’s stance that he vowed never to watch them again. He is now prepared to forgive.

He added: “I don’t blame them. It’s just certain people there who are jobsworths.”

The memoriam, complete with crest, appeared in yesterday’s edition.

It is common for football crests to be used in this way.

The Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur crests have appeared in recent weeks with the permission of the clubs.

Mr McTaggart said he planned to place a notice in the newspaper every year in remembrance of Lee.

He said: “I’m glad they have changed their mind and so they should really.

“It’s not as if we’re going to gain from it. It’s just a memorial for my best mate who worshipped Manchester United.”

Phil Townsend, United’s director of communications, blamed a misunderstanding.

He said: “We have quite a lot of experience of this sort of thing but it is unusual for the request [to use the crest] to come from a newspaper.

“It would usually be a member of the family or a funeral director.”

The News & Star has waived the fee for the memoriam.

Have your say

Speaking as someone who lost interest in Football 35 years ago due to Crowd Violence rearing it's repulsive head, I'm glad Common Sense has prevailed.

Posted by Stemax1960 on 21 January 2013 at 20:12

Totally agree proudofmycity - presume that the same principle applies to all those so called West Cumbrians who travel 40 miles every other week to watch Carlisle as opposed to their local club Workington Reds

Posted by jimmyg on 14 January 2013 at 16:14

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